Introducing Taryana Gilbeau

My name is Taryana Gilbeau and I am excited to join the Glass Ladder Group (GLG) as the first ever Program Assistant! I am honored to work in an environment where cross-cultural dialogue is at the center of everything that we do. I have worked in many organizations that simply looked at diversity as placing people who did not look alike in the same room. Unfortunately, they did not cultivate a space where dialogue and understanding were at the forefront. 

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Black Consciousness in the New Age

We are only half-way through Black History Month and I can already say with confidence that this has been the most publicly revolutionary and active celebration of blackness during our "designated month" in my lifetime.

In the last few weeks, public faces of the black community have openly taken a stand against the lack of diversity in Hollywood and the injustices against people of color in the United States and around the world. From Jada Pinkett Smith's call for a boycott of the Oscars...

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Glass Ladder Group-- 2015 Was Amazing... But Watch Out 2016

Last year was a monumental year for me and my company (Glass Ladder Group). I am often in disbelief and awe at the amount of change, transition and success that I have seen in this short amount of time.

A year ago, I lived in Washington, D.C. and was working for an organization as the Acting Director. My work environment was miserable. Each week I put in way more work than my fair share and each week I was told that my consistent 13 hour work days did not matter. My life's work, intercultural relations, was not important. It did not bring in enough money and it was a waste of the institutions resources. For me this was devastating.

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Culture: Dispelling the Myth

Let’s take a moment to dispel the myth that culture begins and ends with our ethnicity, or that culture shock is only a thing that we experience when we move to a completely new country.  Truth is, moving from the 60s to 104th is as much of a life-changing cultural exchange as living abroad in Paris for a semester.

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Sabrina GarbaComment
Cultured Convos: Media Diversity w/ Kenya Downs

After attending Freedom of Expression in a Multicultural World at the National Endowment of Democracy (NED) hosted by NED's Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) and the Media and Diversity Institute (MDI) in early June I felt it was imperative to have a follow-up conversation on diversity in the media.

The media is a powerful tool for both informing and shaping the opinions of the public. We often follow the media's lead as we develop opinions about groups of people and issue areas. This makes having a diverse representation of demographics and point of views key to the fair, accurate and appropriate portrayal of individuals, communities and events.

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"Must-Dos" in the Race to Diversify Tech

There is no longer a debate about whether or not diversity helps the bottom line of any organization. This acknowledgement is key for the survival of tech companies who's target market generally include people of all genders, races and age demographics.

Last year, tech companies began to release their diversity statistics turning the debate about diversity into much needed action. Not-so-shocking but very unfortunate data was revealed. The workforces of Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft included an average of 4% Hispanic, 2.5% Black, 2% mixed and less than 2.7% other.

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The Charleston Massacre: A Culture of Terrorism Denied

I have always tried to remain fair and balanced. As an interculturalist it has been my life's work to create mutual understanding and provide objective mediation across cultures. But I have to admit, I am struggling to see the other side in the case of the historical Emanuel AME Church massacre in Charleston, SC.

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Tupac Shakur: What Intercultural Texts Keep Missing

I have read plenty of intercultural texts about the late great Tupac Shakur. Some of these texts characterize Tupac as a "gangster rapper" discussing his death and history of, "struggle with poverty, relocation, family separation, and violence," [Digital Generations: Children, Young People, and the New Media. 2013]. Others tout his, "messages of resistance, struggle, and empowerment in the face of racism and oppression," [Globalizing Intercultural Communication: A Reader. 2015]. These pieces normally center around the influence of Tupac Shakur on the African-American culture and beyond. Unfortunately, I have yet to find an article that engages it's audience in the discussion of Tupac's actual culture.

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Sabrina GarbaComment
Rachel Dolezal and the Ineffectiveness of "Going Native"

Recently, I was introduced as Brazilian in a meeting with the upper management of an organization. Now, anyone who really knows me, knows that I am not Brazilian. While this piece of information was incorrect, I chose to save the person giving my introduction some embarrassment by not correcting them. In that instance I knew that this group of people would leave the room believing that I was Brazilian and that I would be responsible for making the choice to clarify my actual cultural heritage. But I won't lie, the thought of them believing that I was from a place that I so adore was flattering to me. I even thought, "hey, let them think what they want," for a brief moment. I mean why not? I've lived in Brazil, I've studied Portuguese, I can cook a mean Moqueca de camarão and I Samba my butt off anytime I have the chance.

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